Snow font problems

Snow_LeopardFinally! It had all been going too well, so I suppose it had to come; something negative to post about regarding the Mac platform.

I’ve not had the Mac long in the big scheme of things, but up till now, pretty much everything ‘just worked’ which was a welcome relief from Microsoft-land that I know and love.

That was until today, and it was a kinda strange one.

The much hyped Snow Leopard OS came out recently and I decided in my nice shiny world of Mac-iness I’d give it a go to try and keep up with the trends. So I got my nice shrink wrapped package with the nice picture of a… Snow Leopard on it at the weekend.

The documentation that comes with it is the usual simple Mac stuff I’d come to expect; stick it in and double click it. So, in full expectation of an easy ride, slapped the disc into the drive.

It was indeed really easy to install. It took about an hour, which I suppose is not bad for an OS re-install. The ‘time remaining’ dialogue throughout the install was even pretty accurate (compared to Windows, but then a random number generator is closer to reality than the Windows progress bar). It rebooted at the end and then automatically pulled a couple of updates down. All looked to have worked fine…

Until I started up Firefox. Some webpages were rendered using some sort of scripty handwriting style font. Particularly noticeable in, but not limited to, the Google search page. Not an unpleasant font, but not the kind of thins you want entire pages rendered in. On checking, the same problem existed in Safari, so not solely a Firefox problem.

Time for my first proper Inspector Clouseau-style Mac problem hunt.

I searched for the problem, but there wasn’t much out there on it yet, maybe too new, or unusual? But there were a couple of clues around, suggesting font problems. Looking in the ‘Font Book’ app, turns out there were a number of duplicated fonts, indicated with a little yellow triangle. Don’t know if they were duplicated before the Snow Leopard install as I’d not looked for that before. Anyhoo, there’s an item in the Font Book menu called ‘Resolve Duplicates’ which did what it said on the tin; all my little yellow triangles disappeared from the font list. But it didn’t resolve the problem.

I dug around a little more and concluded it was the Arial font that was the problem here. So I tried the ‘Validate Font’ from the Font Book menu for Arial. it showed me I had a font in the Arial family called “Laurent_HW_by_oOo_n3o_oOo.ttf”. Hmmm, something purporting to be in the Arial family that wasn’t called Arial? Gotcha. The HW was a bit of a giveaway too. Viewing it, I could see it was indeed the offending scripty font appearing in Firefox and Safari (and I suspect any other app using Arial).

A quick delete of the offending font and restart to be on the safe side and bingo, all sorted.

No idea how it got there but it wasn’t there before the install…

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